Midleton Distillery in Ireland has an experimental line called Method and Madness. They play around with a base of grain, single malt or pot still whiskey, typically matured in ex-bourbon barrels then finished in another barrel. In this case it was a pot still whisky finished in oak from Hungary.
What did we discover?
Method and Madness Pot Still Hungarian Oak Finish 46%
- Colour – Yellow straw
- Nose – First whiff and it came across as quite distinctive – varnish but not your typical old wood polish or young sharp varnish – instead something else. Honeycomb, wood shavings, vegetal oils… shifting into ripe banana mash then fried banana chips
- Palate – A nice spice, sweet liquorice, sweet and smooth
- Finish – Practically absent, just warm
- Water – Suddenly what made this whiskey interesting was just gone! The aromas simply faded into nearly nothing. On the palate it softened the flavour but… so what?
No question this came across as being on the young side but the aromas were interesting, had the best mouthfeel of the Method and Madness series so far however the finish was warm but not much more. Overall we decided this was a pleasant but innocuous whiskey.
We set it aside to revisit and guess what? It regained a bit of its character and did rather well paired with a cigar. Just goes to show how it important it is to try different things to see what works best for a particular dram.
What did the folks over at Midleton have to say?
The quest for uncommon casks led us to the Carpathian Mountains of Hungary and the rich volcanic soils that give rise to Quercus Petraea, Virgin Hungarian Oak and Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey – a curious combination, with a very special outcome.
This Limited Edition release is a ‘World- First’ for Irish Whiskey; a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey aged in Bourbon Barrels and finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak.
- Nose – Treacle toffee, toasted coconut, campfire ashes
- Taste – Silky smooth richness, bittersweet liquorice, dry woodland notes
- Finish – Dissipating spice, toasted oak, mountain mist
This bottle was purchased in London at the Whisky Exchange, currently available for £80.95 and opened in November 2019.
What else did we try in our Method and Madness evening?
- Single Grain Virgin Spanish Oak Finish 46%
- Single Malt French Limousin Oak Finish 46%
- Pot Still Chestnut Finish 46%
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